Grow Your Instagram Following with These 20 Tips

Does it seem like you can’t grow your Instagram following? With these 20 tips you can get more followers without splurging lots of cash.

Instagram has morphed from a fun kids’ app to a serious social media marketing platform business can use to network, advertise, and build an audience. With more than a billion active users, it has the highest engagement rate compared to other social media platform.

It explains why more brands are using Instagram to expand reach and increase visibility. Businesses can however, find it challenging to attract followers.  We explore ways you can grow a following for free.

1.     Define Your Objectives

Are you using the platform to increase brand awareness, conversion, or drive traffic to your website. Defining your objectives from the onset is critical to attracting the right Instagram followers.

If a company is showcasing its products, for example, it might overlook sharing about the company culture, an essential aspect of engaging followers.

It can decide to increase the number of posts highlighting its company culture, employees, or life at work. The idea is to be specific on what you want to achieve and monitor whether the strategy is working toward accomplishing that objective.

2.     Develop a Compelling and Consistent Brand Story

Once you create a business account on Instagram, it’s natural to state who you are, what you do and why you do it. Fans will follow you based on that promise, and any stories, visuals, or posts you share should be consistent with that story.

If you start sharing random content, there will be an obvious disconnect, and you may lose your followers’ trust. Your brand story should be consistent and in sync with any posts you are sharing in your feed.

3.    Share Engaging Content

Share Engaging Content

Great content compels your followers to share, like, and comment on your posts. It is such engagement that enhances reach and increases the number of Instagram followers on your account.

As such, you just don’t want to post visual content followed by a few hashtags; it should engage, inform and entertain your followers. Engaging content should include:

  • Stats that relate to your audience
  • How-tos
  • Educational videos and GIFs
  • Quotes. You can hire a writer to write them

4.     Define Your Target Audience

Knowing your target audience is an essential part of attracting a following. This is because you can curate content that resonates with their intrigues and interests. Defining a target audience involves finding out about their:

  • Age
  • Where they live
  • Their occupation
  • When and how they use Instagram

The beauty of social media platforms is that you don’t have to re-invent the wheel. You can borrow a few tips from businesses that have already doing well. Sometimes you may need to use the same information to define your target audience.

5.    Create a Compelling Profile

An Instagram profile allows you to explain what your business does in a couple of sentences. While you only have 150 characters to create a compelling profile, you can use it to attract more Instagram followers.

A well-crafted profile targets your ideal audience by allowing new visitors to understand your business. For example, the profile can explain how you help or inspire followers, so it’s more about them.

You can also use the profile to help your business or brand stand out for a specific profession, skill, interest, or hobby.

6.     Promote Your Presence on other Social Media Platforms

You are most likely on other social media platforms too; you can use them to let your fans know about your Instagram account. Such awareness and visibility is one of the most effective ways to get discovered.

Include a link to your bio, use direct CTA’s or share the latest Instagram videos and photos. Be sure to give your followers a reason to check your account. For example, you can include an Instagram-exclusive coupon code to fans who follow your page.

Alternatively, consider cross-promoting your social media accounts to direct users to your account. Don’t just ask fans to follow; instead, promote unique content that compels users to follow you.

7.     Collaborate with Relevant Users

Collaborating with other users on Instagram is an excellent way to reach a new audience and provide value. If you have a budget for social media sponsorships, consider approaching an influencer.

Influencer marketing has proven an effective way of attracting more Instagram followers. A classic example is the Swedish watchmaker Daniel Wellington who grew its following from 850,000 to 2.1 million followers in a year after sponsoring Instagram influencers.

The watchmaker boasts 4.9 million followers as Instagram influencers still tag the account through sponsored posts to drive more people to check out the profile. Be careful not to follow too many accounts as your follower ratio reflects your credibility.

8.     Join Existing Communities

Instagram has communities just like other social media platforms. Engaging in those communities is an excellent way to attract Instagram followers. Comments, likes and shares draws attention to your account in three ways:

  • Fans know when you like or comment on their posts and will check your profile in favor
  • Increased engagement helps you appear on the Explore tab
  • When a fan interacts with your content, it appears on the follower’s Activity tab increasing visibility to a new audience

9.     Use Compelling Captions

Instagram is largely a visual medium, but nailing a caption is almost as important as the video or image posted. That’s because, the text provides context of the image and helps engage your audience. Additionally, it’s an opportunity to showcase your brand’s personality in ways an image can’t do alone. Some ways to create an engaging caption include:

  • Keeping the most important information first: Instagram displays only the first 125 characters of the caption. Hence, the need grab the user’s attention before scrolling past the post to look for more information
  • Ask questions: Questions provide followers with something to respond to
  • Use emojis: They help personalize your brand and grab the user’s interest. Research shows the Instagram posts with emojis have a higher engagement than those without

10.Leverage Instagram Ads

Instagram ads help you showcase content to new followers. They are similar to Instagram posts but identified as Sponsored labels as you need to pay for them. Consider using Instagram’s analytics data to sort out your audience by demographics, location, interests, and behavior.

Given the different types of Instagram Ads (photo ads, stories ads, video ads, IGTV ads, among others), it is important to choose the most effective ad format to help you attract followers on Instagram. Instagram Stories Ads, for example, have a broader reach as more than 500 million users view stories every day.

If launching a specific contest, use Facebook’s advertising to showcase the content to more audiences. However, factor in the ad spend as different charges apply for both platforms.

11.Post Content at the Right Time

Posting content at the right time gives your brand more visibility. Consider your audience, what their day is like, and when they are most active and begin testing various times.

It would help if you used Instagram’s scheduling tools to plan the best time to post content. Scheduling content in advance enables you to reach a larger audience and maintain a consistent flow of content. For example, a retail brand can try posting during commute times and the weekend when people are relaxing.

12.Live Video Collaboration

The live video feature has become an increasingly appealing feature to brand audiences. Stats show more than 80% of users would rather watch a live video than read a blog.

As such, businesses can leverage this feature not only to talk about their products and services but also to collaborate with influencers to attract followers on Instagram.

Traditional influencer marketing has all been about the influencers posting a brand’s product or services. However, with Instagram’s live video feature, brands can host a live video with the influencer to talk about how one of your products helped solve a problem.  

Ensure your influencer shares the same interests, so you can attract followers eager to use your products and services.

13.Post More Frequently

Your posting frequency has a direct effect on the engagement rate and follower growth. A study by Tailwind, a visual marketing tool, found that the more often you post, the more Instagram followers and likes you get.

The study found that profiles that posted more got more followers faster than those posting less frequently. Instagram’s algorithmic timeline evaluates one’s consistency to determine if your posts should appear at the top of the timeline.

Thus, if you regularly share your posts, and they attract some good engagement, Instagram is more likely to place the posts near the top of most followers’ feeds.

14.Review Instagram Analytics Data

Review Instagram Analytics Data

The data provides valuable insight about impressions made on each post, engagement, reach, and the top posts on your account. Additionally, you will find demographic information about your followers’ age, gender, and location. Such data helps identify areas you can adjust strategy to attract followers on Instagram. 

15.Ask Followers to Tag Friends

Encourage your followers to tag friends in their comments to increase visibility and reach to a larger following. The posts should be curated to make followers feel like they are doing their friends a favor by tagging them.

16.Tag Other Users

Tagging other users on Instagram increases the chances of involving them in your content. They receive a notification encouraging them to engage with the post and share it with their following.

As such, everyone who views that story sees your user name and visits your account. Be careful not to tag too many users; instead, only tag users when it is relevant to the audience and important to the person getting tagged.

17.Use Relevant Hashtags

Instagram statistics show posts that have at least one hashtag a day score more engagement than those with none. Thus including hashtags in your content make it content easy to find your page. However, using hashtags isn’t just about finding the appropriate keywords but including tags relevant to your audience. Some do’s, and donts of using hashtags include:

Do’s

  • Find out what is popular
  • Create your hashtags
  • Avoid going overboard

Don’ts

  • Forget to include hashtags in stories
  • Use too many hashtags

18.Get Your Account Featured

Feature accounts are primarily designed to create and share other user’s content based on tags and hashtags. Getting featured on such accounts can send a large number of Instagram followers to your account.

What’s more, with a feature account for every niche on Instagram, it’s easy to find one that matches yours. Instagram also hosts a special feature too dubbed the Weekend Hashtag Project challenge. Accounts with the best photos and the most relevant hashtag can be featured on the main Instagram account.

19.Include the Instagram Nametag

Include the Instagram Nametag

If trying to grow a following by showcasing your Instagram username, you may have found it an arduous task. The biggest challenge is getting fans to spell out your name correctly on the Instagram bar. If you have dots, underscores, abbreviations, or other features out of the ordinary, the challenge is even bigger.

Nametags make it easy for users to find you without adding or typing information. An Instagram nametag also encourages fans to follow you without asking them to do so. It’s a less exhausting way of promoting your account on traditional materials like product packaging, signage, and packing slips.

20.Launch Contests

Contests have proved an effective way to attract followers on Instagram. A study compiled by Tailwind shows a 70% increase in followers after using contests. Also, consider partnering with another Instagram account and ask participants to follow both accounts. User-generated content helps reach more people and build trust with new followers.

These few tips should help you attract Instagram followers to your account. Keep in mind; it’s not just about growing numbers but being as authentic and engaging with your followers. With the right engagement, you can quickly convert leads to revenue.

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